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Geologist Presents Mass Extinction Model

03/02/2010 

Nan Crystal Arens, a specialist in early angiosperm ecology, evolution and mass extinctions, will present “A Press/Pulse Model of Mass Extinction Meets T. rex” on Wednesday, March 10, at SUNY Cortland.

Arens, an associate professor of geology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., will begin her lecture at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104. Arens’ talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Campus Artist and Lecture Series, the Geology Department and the Geology Club.

Arens will discuss the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event, one of the five largest biotic crises in Earth’s history, and will summarize her model of press/pulse extinction that eliminated the dinosaurs and many other animal and plant groups.

“A press/pulse mechanism explains selectivity in terrestrial vertebrate and plant extinctions across the boundary event better than do single-mechanisms scenarios, such as the asteroid impact, which are attractive in their drama and simplicity,” she said.

Arens received her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She is a published author of numerous articles, many on the early ecological evolution of flowering plants.

For more information, contact Christopher McRoberts, Geology Department, at (607) 753-2925.